The Future of the Aviation Challenge Bubble

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WesL
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The Future of the Aviation Challenge Bubble

Post by WesL »

During the last Alabama Space Science Exhibit Commission the CEO mentioned they are looking at ideas of how to replace the bubble at Aviation Challenge. The structure is over 30 years old and is starting to really show it's age. I'm posting an article on http://www.sprocketeers.org about the replacement and I think this is a great time for alumni to chime in on possible replacement ideas. Check out the article and come back over to Hab1 and post your ideas. Feel free to include links and pictures to concepts. I'll personally pass on the postings to commission members and staff and who knows what might come out of it.
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Re: The Future of the Aviation Challenge Bubble

Post by WesL »

Image check out http://www.shelterstructures.com

What if... the center had several of these linked together. It is an actual hanger and because it has fabric it would be really easy to use an LED light system to light up the roof to turn this into an awesome special events venue.
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Re: The Future of the Aviation Challenge Bubble

Post by Vincent »

Is there anything structurally wrong with the bubble itself? Would it be possible to refurbish it?
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Re: The Future of the Aviation Challenge Bubble

Post by WesL »

You know that didn't come up this time but I know in the past it had been discussed. I haven't heard of any issues with the structure except for the fabric that has been layered over and over with various paints. I recall a discussion a few years ago that cast some doubt on getting the fabric replaced for some reason. That situation may very well be different now. Would be an interesting custom job for sure.
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Re: The Future of the Aviation Challenge Bubble

Post by p51 »

I'd like to see them bite the bullet and make a replica of either a WW2 style hangar or a modern one. They could place one of the aircraft under the center (on a raised platform maybe) which would make a good centerpiece for events and also keep it in better preservation...
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Re: The Future of the Aviation Challenge Bubble

Post by SpaceCanada »

I was going to echo Vincent's comment about refurbishment - although I wonder if they could get new fabric covering for it cheaper than replacing the whole thing. I'm glad they are considering its replacement/refurbishment. The bubble was looking pretty sad when we were there in October. A few other things could use attention as well: AstroTrek could use a good wash, as could the Pathfinder SRBs, and a few of the Hab1 room doors need to be replaced.
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Re: The Future of the Aviation Challenge Bubble

Post by Dyna-Soar »

Most of Aviation Challenge could use some work. I was there for the Open House a couple of weeks ago, and the buildings and aircraft (save for the Sea Sprite, which had been rather nicely repainted) were in bad shape.

As to the bubble replacement, a hangar diorama would be cool.
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Re: The Future of the Aviation Challenge Bubble

Post by Spyder »

Anyone have any details on the new bubble? I know it was replaced a few years ago, but aside from a couple of pictures, im not sure that I ever really saw and specifics around it. It was certainly needed, that much is for sure. The old one was covered in patch jobs and leaked a lot. I'm fairly certain that it was held together mostly by mold and moss...
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Re: The Future of the Aviation Challenge Bubble

Post by p51 »

As I understand it, Pathfinder is still roped off when one of the control surfaces (wood, of course) broke off and landed underneath, thankfully not hitting anyone.
If something that high profile hasn't been fixed in so long, what hope does the AC dome have right now, especially when they just went to begging for donations just to keep the lights on?
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Re: The Future of the Aviation Challenge Bubble

Post by Spyder »

Sorry, my post was not clear. The AC bubble - or at least the open air portion - was replaced back in 2017. That's what I meant by a few years. I just never heard much about the replacement and was hoping someone maybe knew more. I went back through AC's FB page to find some pictures.
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You can see in that last picture - sometime in July 2017 - that it's just about done, but that's the last I heard about it!
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